“And from now on stop playing with yourself”
If you ever seemingly just woke up, in an unknown world as a robot, and with an omnipresent loud voice commanding you to do it’s bidding, would you blindly listen? Trapped in a world that feels devoid of life, players will be tasked with decisions that will ultimately make or break the world they are living in. It’s a strange world, one filled with historical locations and brain picking puzzles, but what does it all mean?
The Talos Principle on PS4 is a port of a critically acclaimed PC game and its expansion. For the first time on consoles, players can experience the thrills of all the mind bending puzzles and beautiful world, but what does it all mean? For as it is told, Talos Principle is a first person puzzle game, and players will do as it says, as the voice commands. Taking on the role of a robot, players have one simple mission as far as gameplay is concerned. Solve the puzzles, find the pieces, and discover the story. While this isn’t some cinematic experience that most games go for these days, it’s one that has a story told via narration, voice work, and lots of computer logs and system actions.
Price I’d Pay:$49.99
How long to beat: 10+ hours
Many times players will find computers beeping at them, logging in, doing surveys, trying to gain admin access. It’s fairly easy and at times feels like a text based adventure during these moments while delivering some story aspects. It’s a refreshing interaction and one that pulled me into the Talos Principles world immediately.
When players are not knee deep in the computer consoles, they will be exploring hub like worlds with various puzzle mechanics in play. Elements start off simple enough; player using camera looking devices to stop wandering robots, freeze turret guns, or open force field gateways. At many times, it’s not unlikely to stumble upon a puzzle that simply turns players brain to pieces, only for them to finally figure it out and proclaim “that’s it?!” Feeling both smart and stupid at the same time is one aspect Talos Principle nails, for better or worse. Just when it feels like the puzzles with certain abilities start to overstay their welcome, levels appear that require more thinking, more abilities, and more thought.
They eventually cascade into levels that feature a huge assortment of contraptions to manage and make the puzzles not only more elaborate but difficult also. If players get stuck, there is also a handy reset button to restore the puzzles game state to its original place, and I had to use that a few times as I had gotten myself stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Visually the game has a fairly clean look to it. Textures in various zones comprise of sometimes snow, desert, and grass. It’s as if moments of time throughout history have been plucked out of the designer’s minds and placed into digital gaming world making variation in design or levels not a problem here. Some puzzles games stick to one environment the whole game and let the amount of puzzles do the talking, Talos doesn’t sit idly by and changes up the environments, puzzles, and story beats at all the right moments to leave players with a very solid and smooth experience sans one area, performance. That’s not to say the performance is horrible, but when the game isn’t running at 60fps, it’s stuttering, or when taking turns random slowdown can happen. It’s something I was able to look past due to the genre and not interfering with my take on puzzles, but it’s still extremely apparent when the smooth ride hits a bump.
Talos Principle is a meaty, long puzzle game. Depending on the ability of the player to solve the puzzles and progress the story really determines how long it will take most to complete the game. Even after it’s over the additional expansion pack included here adds even more time and difficulty into the mix. It’s a great puzzle game that really knows how to not only provide players with tools to think outside the box when solving it’s puzzles, but also has a very interesting story that will make folks question or ponder what choices to make, especially towards the end of the game. There are a few performance issues here on console but that aside Talos Principal is an excellent puzzle based game that keeps players engaged and perplexed, a winning combination all around in my book.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.